As a new designer, we often feel we aren’t thinking critically enough. Even for the first iteration of our design, we decide to fixate on brainstorming. We think we are making progress with our design but more often than not, we keep raising more questions about our first version. As simple as it sounds, the solution to this is “Iteration”. You have to learn to make progress in versions.
Almost all major product decisions are a result of longitudnal smaller strides. Your first version should answer the top-level requirements of a brief. I have been part of design showcases and critiques where designers missed obligating to primary revenue-stream/business goal because color-scheme correction became top priority.
Get a strong information architecture set up before you wireframe other components. A well-formed element and information hierarchy for your design can help negotiate design conversations better. Once you have the IA set up, its time to stop worrying about radical changes to page midway in your design. This is also important to keep good designer-developer relations. Being a developer myself I can sympathize the pain developers feel when they see a big page structure change in a minor design refresh
Learn to normalize design conversations. It’s going to sound funny but not everything everyone says is worthy of incorporation into your design. If every major product had everything everyone thought should be there in that product. All products in this world would look something like this Frankenstein’s monster. As a designer, you have to learn to accept and reject certain conversations or certain aspects of a conversation that can influence your creation.
Do not over complicate and stress over your design tools. Its true tool selection is important and primarily dictates how fast you can get something done. But having a counterproductive discourse around tooling is plain ridiculous. It’s like rejecting to construct something great because you dont have fancy builder's kit.
Learn to write and communicate effectively. A great starting point will be to listening to someone complete their part of the conversation and then taking 20 seconds before you speak. This might sound rudimentary but this is something I am never done learning. I constantly find myself in situations where a better explanation or defence for my design would have helped me escape tricky situations. An important skill to learn is to argue effectively. A great book that has helped appreciate the effectiveness of taking a strong stance is “They say, I say”. This book, even though meant for an academic audience, has some strong examples and direct methods for effective argument building.